Make it light

Photography is all about light, even the word itself means ‘writing with light’.

Morning light colors solemn calligraphy of bare trees.

201 04 sunrise 068ed

Rich, copper-colored evening light fills the air with lush thickness.

sunset

I took this photograph in May 2013. I was on my way home when the Moon started coming out of the peach-colored clouds just minutes after the sunset. Astonishingly big, it was slowly rolling behind the mountain ridge. I quickly took some pictures and drove up to the mountain top in hope for a better view.

moon

Unfortunately, the Moon sank in the thick clouds and left me in the dark. I had to drive down the road that was barely wider than my car. Still, there were a lot to admire, especially the lace of different silhouettes against the dying sunset, and Clonmel, Co Tipperary, at my feet. Photography never ceases! 🙂

night

The light can stream through the gaps in the clouds, or between the tree trunks in the forest, creating  crepuscular rays. The rays in this photograph look like they have circled a sample of ferns to be taken to the alien spaceship.

light

This is a photograph from my trip to Rome. I visited Vatican, and had a plan to climb up St. Peter’s Basilica Dome. This plan was a reckless affair since I am quite claustrophobic, and at that time I also needed a walking stick. If you have any questions, no, it wasn’t a pilgrimage, and I didn’t expect to come down jumping stairs two at a time, and leaving my walking stick behind. I might write a separate story about that Rome trip.

Anyway, before the epic climb I peeked inside the Basilica. At certain time of the day, you can see crepuscular rays streaming inside from the different windows. I was lucky to observe these beautiful phenomena.

The most interesting thing about light is that its opposite, darkness, doesn’t exist. Darkness is only the absence of light, and therefore we cannot do anything to change or remove darkness itself.  We can affect darkness only with light. However, darkness is a very important opposite – we know what is light only by darkness.

cashel

This is a photograph of my Dad, it was taken in 1937 when he was seventeen. He is my light.

My Dad left this Earth 31 years ago.  I have only a few photographs of him. After he died, Grandma turned to the worse, and one day she managed to put almost all the family photographs in the fireplace. When my mother asked her why, she said that she was afraid. Some day I will write about whom she was afraid from, and why.

My Dad had an extraordinary life. His integrity, tact, good disposition and genuine empathy towards any human being earned him respect from people of different backgrounds and cultures.

‘Learn’ – I heard this word every day. He knew the value of light.

In Jodi Picoult’s book ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ there is a scene where Sara recalls a fight with her sister Zanne about the light left on.  “You can make it dark, but I can’t make it light”,  says Sara. I want to rephrase this sentence – I can make it light. You can make it light. We all can make it light.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful Sunday!

134 comments

  1. I am so very sorry your father’s photographs no longer exist. I’m sure a touch of devastation is present. When someone leaves this world, photographs can mean so much.

    You are a master at available light! Incredible shots!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I have a few more photographs, fortunately, but all his portraits that he sent to his mother are gone, and many other rare images.

  2. Thank you for sharing your memories of your wonderful father. His attitude and empathy towards others are to his great credit, and he obviously passed it on to you. I would love to read more about him and, of course, the reason for your mother’s destruction of the photos. Something about them must have distressed her a great deal. Perhaps the memories they stirred were too overwhelming for her to cope with.
    Your array of photos are perfect, all very different and each so beautifully illustrating the theme of light. I’d be hard pushed to find a favourite as they’re all so amazing. I need to spend some time now, just gazing at them. Your final words are so inspirational: ‘We can all make it light’.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Millie. Both sides of my family were victims of their time. My grandmother’s foggy mind was focused on protecting her son, hiding his identity – it is why, confused and scared, she destroyed the photographs.

        1. She was confused and thought that her son was taken again. She was hiding the evidence. Sad times, you are absolutely right. One day I will master the courage to write about those times as a reminder and warning.

          1. That would be something I’d really love to read. But I know you’ll have to find the time – and courage, as you say – to fit it in. I imagine it would be an emotional thing for you to do.

  3. Bravo, Inese! Your words and your photographs are equally splendid. Your father was a handsome man and sounds like his heart was just as beautiful. I cannot wait for your story about who your grandmother was afraid of — how you tease us! Lol. Have a wonderful week. ❥ ツ ღ ☻

  4. Beautiful writing, a positive approach to the troubling world by connecting it to photography and a special tribute to an important man in your life.
    I am preparing a post about photography tips, it is still a draft (for months already) and the lighting is my first tip 🙂 Thank you for a great post and quote: “I can make it light. You can make it light. We all can make it light.” ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Andrea! I will definitely write about my trip to Rome 🙂 Ah, I would go again, any time, if I could. As to my family story – I need a lot of courage to share it. I am not ready yet. Thank you again for stopping by!

    1. Thank you! I would say yes, because I have seen pictures where the light flows from the smaller windows, and it is not that impressive. There are three windows on the top of the dome, but I wouldn’t wait for the sun to climb that high. This pillar of light was great enough. It was amazing to watch it change and grow bigger and thicker, as if it were some living creature.

    1. Thank you so much! I have to master a lot of courage to tell that story, because I will have to tell the truths, and this truth will hurt feelings of many readers who don’t know the modern world’s history well. Sharing my grandmother’s fears is also a writing task – English is not my native language, and I want to be most precise and clear. I am not ready yet, but I have a feeling that this has to be done one day.

  5. Beautiful reflection on light!

    “Darkness is only the absence of light, and therefore we cannot do anything to change or remove darkness itself. We can affect darkness only with light. However, darkness is a very important opposite – we know what is light only by darkness.”
    ~ Simply put, but so profound in meaning. In a world were darkness reigns, we must be the light.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! The light has already won. We just have to make sure that we stay on the side of the victor 🙂 As you say, we must be the light – even if it is just a tiny, weak flame.

  6. Inese, a delicious post, especially having lived in Clonmel for eight years.
    Your father sounds like a wonderful person. How precious memories of beloved fathers can be.

    1. Thank you so much! Clonmel is a special place that I visit as often as I can. Have hiked miles across the Comeraghs, Knockmealdown mountains and Slievenamon. With all these criminal activities around, I am not hiking solo anymore, but I really miss the joy of being the only human in sight 🙂

          1. The mountains were capped with it but there wasn’t as much as appeared from a distance. Still have to look at the pics I took. The sunset on the way home was stunning in an unusual way. We were out at Tankardstown for that.

  7. Inese, a delicious post, especially having lived in Clonmel for 8 years.
    Your father’s story is one I would love to hear. How precious fathers and memories of them can be.

  8. What you do with light is quite amazing Inese, and this photo series demonstrates so many different ways light can mesmerize. I’ve always felt the morning light colors can do so much to both landscape and people, and as you show it can also show us the “solemn calligraphy of bare trees” ~ wonderful shot. Of all photographs, though, I find when the lighting becomes unique and exciting, a photo becomes something special, and your shot when you peeked inside the Basilica ~ simply outstanding.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Randall! I too love morning light. In that photograph, the sun is way out of the frame, and the image looks somewhat flat, but because my purpose was to focus on the trees, it worked out well. The same morning, I took another set of pictures into the sun, and they have absolutely different quality. Playing with light is so fun 🙂
      That pillar of light in the Basilica was a surprise. It suddenly streamed through the window when I was about to leave. It was narrower in the beginning but grew ticker and wider after a few seconds. People were so excited.

  9. I love this post. Firstly your wonderful photographs AND the Basilica—having been twice to Rome, a joy to see. Then, the way you use these pictures to make a very pertinent point. Lastly there’s your dad, born the same year as mine. What you said about him was lovely and so touching. xxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you so much! The same year? That’s amazing! Hope your dad had a better life. To start with, my dad had been in nine concentration camps. I will never know his story, because he would only say ‘one day we will write it all down’ but we never did because he was not able to speak about those days. He just cried. And it was only the beginning of his story. I love him, and even my classmates still remember and admire him. He was loved. On Valentine’s day I always gave him a shirt, or a hat, and he would wear it religiously. He loved me too. Is your dad still alive? 96, but some people make it. xxxx

      1. Oh my darling, I am so sorry to read that. My dad was involved in something to do with helping people from concentration camps after the war. I don’t know exactly what, I do have letters and cards from that time from some of these people. Again he never talked about some things much and I wish I had asked more.. He had a very hard life in a different way from your dad. His mum died when he was four and the family were a mess. He never knew any love in his life till he met my mum but he was a very good and loving dad. He died in 1993, not long after my mum who he was never meant to be without. till miss them both so much from my life. xxxxxx

        1. So sorry that your dad had a hard and sad childhood. I am very sorry for all that generation. I lost my dad in 1985 and my mum in 1999. It must be hard losing both parents at almost the same time. xxxxxx

      2. I must have been an old soul since birth then! I had my mum’s ,mum and a step-granny who I never knew was a ‘step’ granny till I was 10 Complete opposites–except in one thing, both did what they ha\d to do to secure their lives and neither would ever admit that to one another. Lol the secrets you get from me xxxxx ( Neither were what you would call wonderful grandparents xx)

        1. Oh… xxxxxx I guess I was very lucky, because I had a fantastic Grandma, and a step-Granddad who loved me. My daughter only had my mother, so she loved what she had.
          Hugs!!! xxxxxx

  10. What a enlightening post Inese! The most beautiful pictures:) Your father reminds me somehow of my grandfather who was a very caring man, very strong and artistic (and also died way too young).
    Have a lovely Valentine´s Day! Sarah xo

    1. Thank you so much, Sara! My Dad could draw. I don’t know how many languages he understood, but I can guess that a good few. I know so little about him.
      Happy Valentine’s day to you too! xx

    1. Thank you Bernadette! I have seen pictures with the light falling from above, but had no time to wait for that. When I came, there was no light and I took some pictures from the interior. Then suddenly the light just streamed inside! People gasped. Truly awesome.

  11. Beautiful photographs…
    The pic of St. Peter’s Basilica Dome is stunning dear Inese… I guess it was worth the effort… 😉
    i love the ending lines of your post… very compelling, my friend…
    Sending much love …and light!… Aquileana ⭐

  12. I am sorry, should have mentioned losing a good father has its own pain and sorrow. I am sorry you lost him so long ago. I cannot imagine how it felt 31 years ago, but am happy you feel he represents light in your life.
    My Dad was a father to 2 boys and me. Being the only girl, I had a lot of his attention. I was blessed to have an involved father. He and my Mom were a fantastic team. Like your father, my Dad believed in treating everyone fairly, warmly and equally. By their marching in Civil Rights movements and putting their money where their mouths were they supported 3 black students from my Mom’s teaching high school, through college. We knew they weren’t just words in so many ways.

  13. I enjoyed how you showed us different ways light creates different effects in photographs, Inese. The light filtering through the woods and through a cathedral window were grand examples. While the light from outside featuring green scene while the arch in darkness creates it’s own presence. Having a nice evening with my grandson and watching a Hallmark Valentine’s movie. He is relaxing and cuddling up. 🙂

      1. Your photos show such sweet little darling’s, Inese. It is a great weekend and glad life is treating us easy and peaceful in our personal lives.
        Wish the world could “rest easy,” too. ♡♡

  14. It’s not just the light, it’s also the eye. While all your photos are awesome, the one of the door is especially striking. Not everyone could have gotten just the right angle along with just the right light.

  15. Beautiful photos, Inese, and I love the sentiments about your dad and what he meant to you, all the stories in here. I, too, am fascinated by light and gravitate toward the myriad ways it changes our world and our perceptions. Wonderful post 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! February is the saddest months for me. There is so much about my Dad I don’t know, and I will never know.
      Light is life, and it is true not only for photographers 🙂

  16. Lovely post! I like the lightness of the first picture and its nice background. Yes, the photography is all about light. Your learn how to spot good or interesting light. The forest scene must be delightful to see. You closed the post nicely.

  17. You have some lovely photos there. The third is my favorite with the colors and the bridge. Part of my family came from Glanworth in Co Cork, which has an ancient bridge with many arches.

        1. I am so glad to hear that you know your heritage. I just had a breakthrough in my family history work 🙂 It happens very seldom, and it is always a miracle when you find something about a deceased person born in a different century 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! It is a long story, and I am afraid that when I share it, many of my followers will leave me – this story is pretty much about politics, and most of people cannot tolerate each others political views. Especially when their political choices are based on happy ignorance 🙂

  18. I like your comparing the bare trees to calligraphy….as a calligrapher, I always see them that way. And…moon-chasing is a lovely thing to do, but one has to be careful because she (the moon) is a very fickle friend! Lovely post, Inese.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Cynthia! That moon chasing was not a clever thing to do, as I see it now. What was I thinking about.
      Thank you again! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  19. Incredible use of light in all the photos! That last photo of the open door is probably my favorite. So sorry about your dad.

    1. Thank you Jan! My Dad left way too early, but he is still remembered. People who met him once, never forgot him, and I am not exaggerating. He had a modest career in engineering, stayed away of politics, never been to church, but people would come to him for advice, and he would help out, always.

  20. This is lovely Inese. Words and images woven so beautifully together. Your father does indeed look like a fine man. I’m glad you can keep him memory alive even without lots of photos.

  21. Beautiful photographs that you have taken and I love these next lines to describe photography Photography is all about light, even the word itself means ‘writing with light’. Also a nice tribute to your father and he does look gentle.

Comments are closed.